Inflation Rate

The Scenario Chart for the Inflation Rate shows you what the inflation rate is for the Scenario.

Inflation Rate
Inflation Rate

For many of the basic real estate financial planning models and podcast episodes that we do, we use a static Inflation Rate for the entire  Scenario.

However, I don’t believe this is the best way to do it.

Whenever possible, I strongly suggest using Alternate Universe Modeling™ (aka  Monte Carlo) with variable Inflation Rates to see how the entire investing strategy performs in a variety of inflationary environments (low and high). These are considered our advanced modeling.

For example, when we apply the Add Market Variability to a  Scenario we do make Inflation Rate variable.

Typically, we make it range from -3% per year to 9% with an average of 3%. About 2/3 of the values (1 standard deviation) will be between 1% and 5% using a  Set Value On Scenarios rule.

Ep1 - Andrea - Inflation Rate - Frequency of Values
Ep1 – Andrea – Inflation Rate – Frequency of Values

This variability for a single run might make inflation range like the following.

Ep1 - Andrea - Inflation Rate - Single Run Variable
Ep1 – Andrea – Inflation Rate – Single Run Variable

When running 100 times using  Monte Carlo Inflation Rate varies like the following  Chart.

Ep1 - Andrea - Inflation Rate - Monte Carlo
Ep1 – Andrea – Inflation Rate – Monte Carlo

US Target Inflation Rate

Historically, from 1914 through 2019, the United States has averaged 3.23% per year. The median for the same period has been 2.59% per year and the geometric mean has been 3.12%.

According the Federal Reserve, the United States targets a 2% per year inflation rate as of January 2012. Here’s how they’ve actually performed during since they stated their target.

How do you think we’ve done? Considering how difficult it is to accurately control inflation, I find they’ve done a remarkably good job.

Recommended Inflation Rate for Real Estate Financial Modeling

However, James will typically use 3% for the Inflation Rate when modeling his  Scenarios and for classes.

Why? Because hitting a target rate of 2% is difficult to do. Even given what happened in the past.

For example, here’s the inflation the US saw between 1914 and 1920.

Try to predict what inflation would be the next decade. What do you think? Here’s what it actually was.

In an ideal world, you’d model your entire strategy using a range of Inflation Rates to see the impact deflation, reasonable inflation and hyper-inflation has on your plan.

Impact of Inflation

I taught a class about the impact of inflation on real estate portfolios:

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